5 Tips That Can Help Women Succeed In Business
Many women pursue (or dreaming of pursuing) financial freedom. This usually involves running businesses and dealing with the uncertainties associated with it. Whether you’re just getting into the entrepreneurial world or you’ve been trying out new ideas, it takes a lot of discipline and effort to pull off business success on any level (and not to mention a strong stomach!). In this article, I discuss some strategies that can help you further your business goals to attain your dreams of financial freedom.
1. Define Clear Goals
Having a clear goal will make it easier to stay focused on what needs to be done. As a business person, you are bound to encounter exciting ideas that may sway your attention away from the task at hand (it happens to me all the time!). You must resist these distractions Tin order to make progress. That said, your goals are to serve as general guidelines and not rigid ‘must-do’ tasks. Being an entrepreneur means being focused and fluid at the same time. While focus is essential for business success, you must also prepare yourself to make drastic changes and accommodate growth opportunities.
When I had my Low Carb Centre business, I was at the top of my game financially when tragedy struck. The government implemented strict rules that didn’t allow me to make low carb claims on over 1500 products in my stores. They also said I could no longer call me stores Low Carb Centres. Within a matter of weeks, my entire business model was ruined. My mentor at the time gave me great advice - ‘if you’re going to fail, fail quickly”. Hard words to swallow but the intention was to stop the financial bleed and loss in a venture that couldn’t be saved.
2. Embrace Mistakes
Mistakes are inevitable when running a business. There is greater pressure on women business owners to prove themselves. You can’t be hard on yourself when things don’t go as planned. It’s by learning through your mistakes that you will grow your business skills.
If your mistakes didn’t end your business (and sometimes it can), you’ve learned a skill that will help you to avoid similar future situations. Lamenting over mistakes is a waste of your energy that needs to be focused on building your business. Learn and adapt to make your mistakes a springboard for future successes.
3. Start Small
It’s easy to jump in with both feet sometimes when you visualize the potential ability that your venture has. However, that may not be a good line of action. It’s better to limit your risks to ones that you can sustain.
You will be risking potential burnout if you use all your resources and the business fails to meet your targets. No matter how good your idea is, you can’t know for certain that it will pan out as various factors outside your control can contribute to its success or failure.
4. Trust Your Gut
A critical analysis is often a necessary part of decision making. However, the time constraint and the complexity of a problem might make deciding impossible because none of the available options are good ones for you. This is where your gut comes in. It can help you navigate through tough spots. You are the most passionate about your business and would have developed a gut “sense” about what can work and what cannot.
If you dismiss your instincts, you may be stuck in uncertainty or end up following a safe but wrong direction. You should trust your gut for guidance, even if it means going against the norm or venturing outside of your comfort zone. The best way to balance your passion and gut is to have an outside mentor - something I’ve had in most of the projects I’ve launched.
5. Build and Maintain Your Network
The networks you have been building over the years are a valuable resource for getting things done in your business. They can serve as a source of advice and referrals for taking your idea to the next level.
Whenever you find it difficult getting direct access to potential business contacts, evaluate your current network to see who can introduce you to your potential opportunities. Linkedin is great for this. As you continue to meet new people, maintain genuine relationships with them to stay connected. Relationships will be everything in building out your company.
Final words of advice: It’s an exciting time to be a woman in business. The number of women business owners is growing. This means that you have a lot of potential mentors to learn from. Starting your own business and all that it entails can be a very overwhelming and challenging process. Take it one step at a time and don’t be afraid to ask for help. By taking one step at a time, you will negate mistakes, save your sanity and most important of all, you’ll enjoy the process.